Row grows in Brooklyn over Barclays' Nets deal
Friday 27 March 2009
Angry New Yorkers are urging the crusading state attorney-general, Andrew Cuomo, to block Barclays' $300m-plus deal for naming rights to a new basketball stadium in Brooklyn, after the UK bank received taxpayer money through AIG.
Barclays was one of the major trading partners of AIG's collapsed derivatives business, and received $8.5bn (£5.9bn) after the US government moved to prevent the insurer from defaulting on its liabilities.
Opponents of the development project say that Barclays should not be using public money for a "vanity project", and are hoping to stir up a similar outcry to that which greeted Citigroup's $400m sponsorship of the New York Mets' new baseball stadium.
"The federal bailout of AIG was not intended to assist Barclays in hyping its brand in Brooklyn, or to help them slap their logo, for 20 years, no less, on a basketball arena already heavily dependent on city, state and federal subsidies," said Daniel Goldstein of the campaign group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn.
The group has urged its members to contact Mr Cuomo – who led the political pressure on AIG executives to hand back bonuses this month – in the hope that he will take up the cause. Mr Cuomo was yesterday continuing his campaign against AIG, issuing subpoenas to examine its trading relationships and business practices.
The basketball arena at Barclays Center will be the new home for the New Jersey Nets, and forms the central part of a $4bn Frank Gehry-designed complex that includes 16 skyscrapers. Barclays unveiled the deal with fanfare in 2007, rolling out the rapper and Nets backer Jay-Z and New York City's Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. The deal is a 20-year commitment, originally valued between $300m and $400m, but the bank is believed to have renegotiated the cost down since then.
Barclays said last night that it has not directly received any government money, since AIG was only meeting its obligations to the bank, and that it remains committed to the project.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...